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New $1000 power Mini-ITX build

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August 28, 2012 12:00:16 AM

Looking for a powerful Mini-ITX build for $1000.



------------BUILD-----------

Case: Bitfenix Prodigy $80

Mobo: Probably Asrock Z77E-ITX $150

CPU: Core i5-3570k $230

GPU: AMD 7870 $260
Can't decide between the different cards right now, I'm leaning toward MSI's Hawk, but I fear the "GPU Reactor" on the back is going to bump against the CPU cooler. The ASUS, Sapphire, and Gigabyte ones also look good. Which coolers are the most effective?

RAM: 8GB DDR3-1600 $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Is the RAM cooler going to have problems fitting under the CPU cooler? I'm very open to suggestions on diff RAM, for example, I know Tom's used the Mushkin low-profile RAM in their latest builds.

CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 Evo $35
Heard a lot of great things about this HSF, if you know of fit problems between this and any other part please tell me

HDD: Spinpoint 1tb $70

PSU: Any quality 500-600W PSU $60
Leaning toward the Corsair one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... but there's also a very nice looking Silverstone http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive: Any cheap DVD-burner $20

TOTAL: $945





------------Optional Components:-------------
SSD:
So I have about $60 left, I really want to fit a small caching SSD (via Intel Smart Response) into the system, but even the 32/64GB ones seem about $70.
--What are the differences between a MLC and SLC SSD for caching? Is it big?
--What's a good caching drive?

Water Cooler Corsair H80
If the size of the CPU cooler is a problem, I can upgrade to an H80, how much benefit is this from an effectiveness and noise standpoint?


Fit/Size questions:
--I've heard that on Mini-ITX mobos, the CPU cooler is very close to the PCI-E slot, leading to large GPUs/CPU coolers having fit problems, the Hyper 212 Evo and MSI 7870 Hawk definitely classify. How bad is the fit problem?

--The Z77E-ITX has a mSATA slot on the back of the mobo, if I use this, how well will it fit into the Prodigy?

--On AnandTech's review of the Prodigy, they said something about a 140mm PSU not fitting, what is the difference between a 140mm and 120mm PSU?




Thanks for the help guys! :bounce: 
August 28, 2012 8:37:59 PM

I really hate bumps but I could really use some help here.
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August 29, 2012 4:50:09 PM

I just built almost the exact same system. White Prodigy, Z77E-ITX, i5-3570K, low-profile Corsair Vengeance 8GB kit (same specs as those Ripjaws), and a Samsung 830 256GB. I didn't need a GPU for my build; integrated was enough.

Got it all at Micro Center for ~$800. The CPU and Mobo bundle was $189.99 + $95 ($50 discount on mobo for the combo) and the SSD was $200, all purchased in-store.

For the Z77E-ITX, that cooler will not work. I have both the EVO and non-EVO, and the issue is the backplate. Also, there is not a cutout in the Prodigy for backplates, so if you can find a backplate to work, or modify one, you have to make sure that it doesn't stick too far off the back of the mobo or you won't be able to mount the mobo correctly.

See these threads for more info:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1271905/what-kind-of-cpu-coo...

http://www.overclock.net/t/1254599/official-asrock-z77-...

http://www.overclock.net/t/1246461/asrock-z77e-itx-is-o...
(there is a good list of compatible CPU coolers in this thread) this is what I am talking about:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3897098/Z77E-ITX%20Heatsink%20C...

http://www.overclock.net/t/1260079/mini-itx-build-asroc...

I used a Corsair CX500 and have used a CX500 for the past 2 years in an always-on HTPC without any issues, whatsoever. (not sure about overclocking for your system, but it should run everything you listed stock without a problem, maybe the CX600 for extra watts?)

PSU mounting is very easy, just make sure that the length isn't greater than 160mm and you will have no problem. Remove the PSU mounting plate from case, attach it to the PSU, and then slide the cables in through the back of the case when you mount the PSU/mounting plate assembly. I was worried that an ATX PSU wouldn't fit, but it works really well.

Good luck with your build. I am loving mine! It is for my wife's creative needs (photoshop, scrapbooking, die-cutting, blogging, and a bunch of other stuff) Pretty inexpensive build considering what you get.

If I find any good coolers that will fit (I am online shopping right now, lol) I will let you know what works well.

Also, if you are planning on the White Prodigy, keep in mind that the front panel is not vented like the Black model. Also, you cannot use 2x 120mm fans in the front unless you want to sacrifice the ability to use an optical drive (or whatever in that 5.25" slot) You can't have both; but, you can have a single 140mm, 180mm, or 230mm fan up front and keep the 5.25" slot open.
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August 29, 2012 9:50:46 PM

Wow, this is definitely very interesting news. If true this leaves me with three options CPU cooling wise:

1. Buy a Corsair H80, but lose ability to use Optical Drive

2. Buy the ASUS P8Z77-I deluxe (does the 212 Evo fit on that mobo?)

3. Try another CPU cooler, but I don't really know of other bargain CPU coolers off of the top of my head
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August 30, 2012 12:55:55 AM

sabot00 said:
Wow, this is definitely very interesting news. If true this leaves me with three options CPU cooling wise:

1. Buy a Corsair H80, but lose ability to use Optical Drive

2. Buy the ASUS P8Z77-I deluxe (does the 212 Evo fit on that mobo?)

3. Try another CPU cooler, but I don't really know of other bargain CPU coolers off of the top of my head


Why would you lose the ability to use an optical drive with liquid cooling? You could mount the radiator in the back of the case, or in the top of the case. H80 is 120mm fan, and shouldn't need to be mounted in the front.

Also, the price for the Megahalems with fans is about the same as the H80. Just sayin'.

The ASUS P8Z77-I is a better mobo for overclocking (I think it has better voltage adjustments than the AsRock Z77E-ITX), has better CPU socket placement (centralized, and not so close to the PCI-e slot), and I believe will fit more CPU coolers. I probably would have picked that mobo if it were available when I went to MicroCenter, and if I really needed to overclock (but I don't).
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August 30, 2012 3:08:41 AM

I've actually read from reviews that the ASRock mobo is actually better OC-ing wise, and the ASUS one costs $50 more, so I'm really leaning toward the ASRock one.

On the H80 mounting, I remembered about the back mounting option after I posted, brain fart.

I think I'll try to stay as cheap as possible on the cooler, and I've heard really good things about Thermalright's True Spirit ($43). The Megahalems out of stock on Newegg and not on other places I trust :/ 
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August 30, 2012 2:53:32 PM

sabot00 said:
I've actually read from reviews that the ASRock mobo is actually better OC-ing wise, and the ASUS one costs $50 more, so I'm really leaning toward the ASRock one.

On the H80 mounting, I remembered about the back mounting option after I posted, brain fart.

I think I'll try to stay as cheap as possible on the cooler, and I've heard really good things about Thermalright's True Spirit ($43). The Megahalems out of stock on Newegg and not on other places I trust :/ 


The overclocking abilities of the Z77E-ITX were brought into question here:

http://forums.tweaktown.com/asrock/49237-z77e-itx-no-cp...

It seems that the PLL voltage adjustments are somewhat limited, or non-existent. I'm not saying ASUS is better, necessarily, just that the PLL issue with the AsRock may be a consideration if you are thinking about OCing.


Also, as far as a trusted place to order the Megahalems (without a fan) is FrozenCPU.com. I just ordered yesterday with coupon code "xtreme" which gives a 5.1% discount. The total with shipping for the Megahalems was $72.21, and the cooler is in stock.

I placed my order yesterday at 12:19pm, and it shipped at 3:45pm.

I have ordered from this site many times in the past for my custom water loops, fans, and other accessories; fast shipping, great service.

Note: you can order the Megahalems through FrozenCPU.com's Amazon marketplace, but it is more expensive, and I am not sure that you will be able to use a coupon code.

When I get the cooler, I will update this thread with pics!
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September 17, 2012 2:15:25 PM

I am disappointed to report that the Megahalems does not fit without modifications. The mods are relatively small, but need to be made in order for proper fitment onto the Z77E-ITX.

I have pics, but I am too busy to upload them right now. lol. When I do I will try to spread this information so that others can be informed when making a choice for an aftermarket cooler.
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